Organic Poultry: The New NOP Avian Rule

Organic Poultry NOP Rule

As poultry farmers, providing sufficient living conditions and environments for chickens is a practice that is instilled upon us. With a new law coming into effect, “sufficient” living conditions won’t be enough to pass the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Organic Program (NOP) standards.

The Avian Rule, which is set to come into effect in May 2017, will require producers and handlers participating in the National Organic Program to maintain ammonia levels monthly and implement certain practices to sustain ammonia levels below ten parts per million (ppm). For indoor chicken houses, ammonia levels are harder to eliminate due to ventilation issues. In numerous cases, maintaining levels of 10 ppm isn’t always doable right off the bat. If your farm’s ammonia levels exceed 10 ppm, it is crucial to implement further practices and monitoring to ensure that levels steady around 10 ppm and don’t exceed 25 ppm. If levels go beyond 25 ppm, it is considered out of compliance and can cause physical damage to chickens in your chicken house. The new regulations fall under the Animal Welfare Rules that were published in January.

The most common damage done to chickens once the ammonia level has surpassed 25 ppm include:

  • Blindness and damage to the eyes
  • Irritation to the mucous membranes of the respiratory system- this causes chickens to become more susceptible to bacterial infections
  • Weight loss
  • Feed conversion
A big challenge for poultry farmers are the products they use to treat poultry litter. The largest selling product used to treat and reduce poultry litter contains toxic chemicals including alum and sodium bisulfate. These chemicals don’t fix the problem and can ultimately lead to other chemically based health issues.

We’re all concerned about the safety and well-being of our farms and poultry, but stricter regulations make it harder to maintain the title of an organic provider. Lucky for you, our Litter Life treatment is a non-corrosive liquid poultry treatment.

Litter Life helps to reduce ammonia while also ridding your litter of dangerous pathogens. It is also organic and safe to use. Litter Life provides a long-term solution to poultry litter issues because it helps to prevent ammonia instead of just treating it. The product itself is easy to disperse. It’s a liquid that can be sprayed directly on the litter with a standard pack or pressurized sprayer.

During the initial application of Litter Life, there is a slight spike in ammonia levels at first. Essentially, Litter Life is getting into the litter itself and is rapidly accelerating the decomposition process as well as and airing out the poultry litter. The rapid decomposition is the cause of the immediate ammonia spike during the first day or so. After the levels come back down, that’s when aeration as well as airing will need to take place.

There are three components to Litter Life.
  • The extremely high activated carbon count - crucial during composting because if nitrogen levels get too high, it will create ammonia gas in the air 
  • Humic and fulvic acids- oxygenate the compost by drying out the litter
  • Naturally occurring biology - through a cold-water extraction, we produce organic acids while still leaving the biology intact
Litter Life is the ONLY certified organic litter amendment available to purchase in the United States. By following our protocol and making sure there is proper ventilation, oxygen, and other factors, our product will help keep ammonia levels at or below 10 ppm to ensure the standards are met with the new laws.
Logan Jones
Logan Jones


Logan Jones is the media and administrative coordinator for Southland Organics. She holds a B.S. degree in public relations from Ball State University. Logan is an Indiana native, but is enjoying her move down south.

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